A source of inspiration for generations of artists, including Freddie Mercury and George Lucas, Metropolis stands as one of early cinema’s greatest achievements. The 1927 film by Fritz Lang was one of the first of its kind, a feature-length sci-fi film with a message and one of the foremost examples of German expressionism, a movement that continues to inspire filmmakers today. So what better present can their be for Metropolis‘ 90th birthday next year than a lavish TV miniseries remake from one of Hollywood’s most exciting new voices? The next project from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail is an all-new interpretation of Metropolis.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Esmail will be putting together a new version of Metropolis for Universal Cable Productions for a budget of about $10 million per episode. Like the ’27 movie, Metropolis will “take place in a future society where wealthy industrialists rule the vast city from high-rise tower complexes, while a lower class of underground-dwelling workers toil constantly to operate the machines that provide its power,” says the site. “Risking everything they know, two star-crossed lovers from opposite sides of the divide must find a way to bring down the whole system.”
There’s no timeline for the project yet, but that may be because Esmail is presently hard at work on the third season of Mr. Robot, which he is very hands on with; he directed all 12 of season two’s episodes and wrote seven of them. That looks to be a trend that Esmail will continue with on his new project, as the Reporter says that Metropolis will have a writers room of sorts, but it’s job will be more conceptual as in trying to figure out a way to turn the movie into a miniseries. So it sounds like Esmail plans on being very involved in bringing Metropolis to life again, so either there’s going to be a lengthy hiatus between seasons on Mr. Robot, or Esmail’s going to wait and play out his five-year plan before digging into Metropolis.
As for where Metropolis might land, we don’t yet know that yet either. The word is that it’s not tied to a Universal-owned channel, but its not impossible to think that it will land on USA, which airs Mr. Robot, or on Syfy, which has previously hosted ambitious sci-fi miniseries like Childhood’s End. Both channels are owned by Universal. Obviously, we’ll keep you posted with all the latest developments as they become available.